Joy Division Mural That Was Scrubbed for Aitch Album Ad Finally Repainted in Manchester

A mural of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis in Manchester has been repainted after its mistaken erasure last year by an Amazon Music ad for an Aitch album, as NME points out. The original artist, Akse, finally received planning permission to repaint the mural at a new location after discussions with the local government. The new piece, painted on the side of a pub near Piccadilly railway station, was unveiled yesterday to mark World Suicide Prevention Day. Check it out below.

When news broke of the 2020 Mural’s destruction, Aitch quickly apologized, saying he would work to have it replaced. New Order’s Bernard Sumner said at the time, “Seems as if someone’s misjudged this and it shouldn’t have happened, but Aitch has said he’s going to put it right so it will get fixed, no harm done.” Peter Hook thanked Aitch for his swift response. In yesterday’s post, Akse thanked Aitch, along with Manchester City Council and the music and mental health festival Headstock. The mural is based on a photo by Philippe Carly.

The original mural was painted as part of a mental health awareness initiative with support from Manchester City Council. Akse said on social media that it “had become a cultural landmark and meant so much to people from Manchester and beyond. It doesn’t take much common sense to understand that this mural should have remained for what it represented and stood for.”

Akses Ian Curtis mural

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 08: An aerial view of a new mural of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis on the side of the Star & Garter pub by Street artist Akse P19 on September 08, 2023 in Manchester, England. A new mural of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis, who tragically took his own life in 1980, has been reinstated on the Star & Garter pub ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day. Originally created for World Mental Health Day in 2020, it was controversially replaced by an ad for British rapper Aitch’s album in 2022, sparking a public uproar and emphasising the mural’s deep cultural value for Manchester. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

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